It’s hard for new startups to stand out when there are 50 million new startups popping up each year. The competition is fierce, to put it mildly.
And even if your product is amazing, top-notch, must-have, etc., you’ll still have to put some funds into promoting it.
Content marketing is the best way for a startup company to get new customers and begin advertising your small business. It’s less expensive than paid advertising, and it’s more effective than cold calling.
There are studies that prove this is the case. For instance, Hubspot did a study that found that companies who implemented inbound marketing initiatives saw large increases in their web traffic within 2-4 months. (For those who don’t know, inbound marketing utilizes content marketing as its main strategy.)
Blogging, in particular, proved to be the most effective content marketing strategy for the majority of the participants in the study.
So, if you want to see more sales for your startup company, then follow the lead of the companies in that study, and start blogging! It can and probably will take months to start seeing results. However, if you add in a little bit of paid advertising, you can start to see results even sooner.
So what about the “content” in content marketing? What does that really mean? Essentially it can mean any kind of media asset. GIFS, podcasts, infographics, text, PDFs, videos, and images all fall under the category of “content.” That’s why a content marketing strategy should include a mixture of different content types.
The next question you likely have is, “what kind of content should I create? Also, hasn’t most content already been done before? What new content can I bring to the table?”
To do effective content marketing these days, you have to think outside the box. Even if there is already excellent content out there somewhere on the web, it’s surely not available in every kind of format.
For example, you could turn that awesome blog post you stumbled across into your own video where you can give your perspective on the subject. This is known as repurposing content, and it’s a critical part of content marketing.
You can (and should) also repurpose your own content in order to reach the different audiences who would be interested in your products or services.
An example of repurposing your own content would be taking some of your multiple blog posts and turning them into a free course. That way, your information, and advice can reach more people, the ones who don’t have the time or inclination to get all of the information they need from multiple different posts.
So here’s how repurposing content works in practical terms:
- Create your content
- Promote your content so that it will reach your target audience
- Repurpose the content for another audience on a different platform
- Promote the repurposed content
- Evaluate the results from both channels and then double down your efforts on the most effective one.
Social Media Marketing
Social media is everywhere these days. In fact, if you don’t have at least one social media account, then you might as well be considered a dinosaur. However, that doesn’t mean you should now start indiscriminately creating social media accounts everywhere. One business’s success on Instagram won’t necessarily translate to your business. As we mentioned earlier, different audiences tend to congregate on each of the different social media websites and apps out there.
So the approach you should take with social media is to harness a specific channel to help amplify your content marketing.
For example, the best places for a visually-oriented business to amplify their content might be on Pinterest or Instagram. On the other hand, Reddit or Twitter doesn’t have as much image sharing going on, so focusing efforts on those two might not work out very well.
So to put your social media marketing plan into action, start with focusing on one or two social media websites/apps. Create relevant and highly sharable content and post it on those two sites.
Also, remember that even though it’s social media, you should still act professionally. Respond to messages and replies in a timely fashion. Don’t act disrespectfully towards your followers. Try to stay involved and active in your new online communities and that will also make other people want to get involved as well. The worst thing that can happen is for your social media pages to look like ghost towns.
One way that you can really start advertising your small business and “sell” the solution that your company offers is through webinars. A webinar is typically a one-hour multimedia presentation, which gives you plenty of time to hold people’s attention and promote your product using multiple different kinds of media.
During a webinar, you can generate new leads, show how your product works in action, pre-sell it, and also generate new content that you can, later on, repurpose into blog posts or social media posts.
Webinars may also be one of, if not the most, effective lead magnets available. According to the Demand Gen Report’s Content Preferences Survey from 2018, B2B buyers are more willing to spend time watching a webinar than any other kind of content. Additionally, about three-fourths of them were willing to share their contact information to access webinars.
The actual act of conducting a webinar isn’t that hard. The real challenging parts are going to be coming up with an audience-centric topic and making the right people aware of your webinar. You’ll have to promote your webinar across several different channels if you want to get the most bang for your buck.
You might be tempted to create gated access to your webinar, but in the beginning of advertising your small business, when you’re just starting to build a following, this isn’t likely to work. Streaming it live on YouTube and Facebook can work better, and since video discovery is integrated into these two platforms, you’ll likely attract more people to your webinar that way.